For an actor these days, getting into character often demands more than doing your research, adapting your voice and putting on a costume – sometimes it requires a total image overhaul.
Earlier this week Jude Law, 46, was snapped proudly strutting along a beach in Venice while filming The New Pope, showing off his newly toned physique in a pair of tiny white swimming trunks.
As well as dyeing his locks and trimming his body hair, it’s clear he’s made an effort to get into the shape for the papal part – a routine that appears to be becoming the new norm in Hollywood.
Last week Bodyguard star Richard Madden, 32, told Britain’s Vogue magazine that he hits the gym ‘twice a day’ and ‘barely eats’ to prepare for his hunky shirtless roles, and worries by doing so that he’s portraying an unnatural body standard.
Earlier this week Jude Law, 46, was snapped proudly strutting along a beach in Venice while filming The New Pope, showing off his newly toned physique and trimmed body hair in a pair of tiny white swimming trunks
He insisted male actors feel under as much pressure as his female co-stars to lose weight for specific parts.
There have certainly been some dramatic male body transformations in recent years. Here FEMAIL takes a look at some of the more extreme.
At the age of 49, Josh Brolin (now 51) overhauled his ‘dad bod’ after winning the part of Cable in Deadpool 2.
His superhero physique was honed by following a ‘totally clean’ diet, with no sugar, breads, pastas or drugs,’ and tons of ‘fish, rice, eggs, veggies and water’.
Josh Brolin, pictured left in 2008 film W. and right as Cable in 2018, overhauled his ‘dad bod’ after winning the part in Deadpool 2 by following a body building regime
At the gym the dad-of-three adopted a routine often used by bodybuilders, using drop sets with weights – starting high and gradually going lower until you can no longer lift the weight of your own arms. Sounds like a lot of hard work, but it clearly paid off.
In preparation for his role as Tommy Riordan in Warrior, a former US Marine and mixed martial arts fighter, Hardy had to ensure he was match fit.
Prior to landing the role of Tommy Riordon in Warrior, Tom Hardy was in good shape (pictured left in 2007) – but he went all out when it came to bulking up. He piled on muscle to play the former US Marine and mixed martial arts fighter (pictured right)
But the actor, 41, took it a step further, bulking up his frame with short, sharp regular workouts and piling on muscle.
To prepare for playing Bane in The Dark Knight rises, Hardy piled on 30lbs of pure muscle, much of which appeared to end up between his shoulders as his traps are now renowned as some of the biggest in the industry.
The American actor, probably best known for playing Dr Emil Skoda on the NBC series Law & Order, sent social media into a frenzy while preparing for his film role in Justice League.
The American actor, pictured left in 2015, is probably best known for playing Dr Emil Skoda on the NBC series Law & Order. But he sent social media into a frenzy while preparing for his film role in Justice League, regularly sharing workout shots showing his bulging muscles like the one on the right
The 61-year-old shared snaps while working out in the gym, looking almost unrecognisable with his insanely toned new muscular physique.
His personal trainer Aaron Williamson said he had ‘so much respect’ for the actor, adding: ‘Every time we train together I forget he’s 61 years old.’
After landing the part of Mr Tumnus, the faun in Walt Disney Pictures’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – one of McAvoy’s first major film roles – transforming himself into a buffed-up beefcake was probably far from his mind.
James McAvoy, pictured left at the Venice Film festival in 2007 following the release of Atonement, has always had a more slender physique. But after hitting the gym with personal trainer Magnus Lygdback, the actor (pictured right in 2017) gained muscle and bulked up
His slender frame clearly didn’t hinder his career, with McAvoy, 39, going on to land parts in Starter for 10, Atonement and The Last King of Scotland.
But these days he appears to have adopted more of a hardman image, hitting the gym with personal trainer Magnus Lygdback, gaining muscle and shaving his head for films Split and Glass.
In 2015 some less-than-flattering snaps emerged of topless Diesel on a balcony in Florida, showing his ‘softer side’.
In 2015 some less-than-flattering snaps emerged of topless Diesel on a balcony in Florida, showing his ‘softer side’ (left). But Diesel was back in shape and buffer than ever for his role in xXx: Return of Xander Cage and now posts snaps like the picture on the right regularly on his Instagram page to prove he’s not letting standards slip
His ‘dad bod’ went viral, with the 51-year-old actor hitting back at fat jibes by proclaiming he’s had ‘the best body in New York City for decades’.
But they clearly touched a nerve, as he was back in shape and buffer than ever for his role in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.
Before landing a part in Guardians of the Galaxy, Pratt, 39, had a legion of fans thanks to his role in NBC comedy series Parks and Recreation.
Pratt, pictured left in 2009 on a beach in Maui, banished his beer belly to play Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy
He summarised his character Andy Dwyer as ‘dim-witted and guileless and a real idiot, but lovable’ – with a beer belly to boot.
But all that changed when Pratt became a Marvel comic book hero; after adopting a strict diet and exercise regime, he lost over four stone (60lbs) in six months and went from chump to hunk overnight.
Ahead of filming Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal shed almost 14 kilograms to play the part of Los Angeles denizen Louis Bloom.
Gyllenhaal, pictured left in 2003, piled on over a stone to play world champion boxer Billy Hope in Southpaw (right)
Following this he then put on over a stone (15lbs) of muscle in order to portray a world champion boxer in Southpaw, with three-hour long workouts every day and rigorous boxing training sessions.
Speaking about his transformation, Gyllenhaal, 38, said: ‘Any time you learn about new ways to build muscle and get your body into fit shape, you can these lessons and use them forever. You still benefit even if at some point you pare back the exercise.’
In his first appearance as Wolverine in 2009, Hugh Jackman, then 40, looked in pretty good shape.
But fast forward 10 years and the star has continued to push his body to the limit to bring the clawed superhero to life – with his character in Logan looking more ripped than ever.
In his first appearance as Wolverine (left) in 2009, Hugh Jackman, then 40, looked in pretty good shape, but as the years went on Jackman’s character, pictured right in 2013, gained more and more abs
The film 300 famously presented its agog viewers with a sea of ripped torsos – Butler’s being one of them.
Knowing he’d be surrounded by hundreds of buff stuntmen, the actor underwent a gruelling training regime in the hope they’d ‘take their hats off’ to him.
Gerard Butler, pictured left in 1999 TV show Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married and right in film 300 in 2006, underwent a rigorous workout regime to get in shape for the Spartan flick
Butler, 49, worked out for six hours a day – two hours with them, two doing the 300 workout and two with his bodybuilder, ‘pumping 25 times before each take’.
And boy did it pay off.
Having landed one of the biggest roles in Hollywood, Craig, 51, went on a body transformation mission to play 007.
His Bond workouts involved power lifting and compound lifts to bulk up his frame. And let’s face it, who wasn’t impressed by his confident beach stroll in those tight blue swimshorts in Casino Royale in 2006?
Having landed one of the biggest roles in Hollywood, Craig, pictured left in TV series Anglo Saxon Attitudes in 1992 and right as Bond in Casino Royale in 2005, went on a body transformation mission to play 007